Aunt Maude swept in, a tray rattling with unmatched Lambethware dishes. “Ye’ll have him looking like a prince, Flora.”
“I was thinking Hades,” Anne said dryly.
Three gazes speared her. Startled and confused from Aunt Maude and Aunt Flora while Will managed an amused smirk. All that lordly attire is sinking into his veins. She waved gracefully, a gesture to make her grandmother proud.
“It’s all the black and gold. I’m not sure of it.”
Aunt Maude set her burden on the table and turned to inspect Will. “He looks fine tae me, but goodness knows I don’t cavort in higher circles.”
“None of us do, except Cecelia,” Anne said. London’s lofty addresses had been her grandmother’s ambition for her, not hers.
“Well, Cecelia’s no’ here tae educate us.” Aunt Maude began setting the table as if the matter was done.
“I like the black and gold,” he said.
Anne eyed Will who eyed her boldly back. A silent skirmish was afoot.
“With his size, shouldn’t we consider something paler? A creamy yellow or a sky blue?” she suggested.
Creamy yellow? Will mouthed.
“And have him looking like a cake?” Aunt Maude huffed. The woman had stern opinions about London’s mincing fops. Tartans were dark, serious shades, which met with her approval. “What do ye think, Flora?”
“Oh, I don’t know.”
Will was the center of a feminine universe, arms out at his sides, his smirk growing as if he could do this all day. Rather sure of himself. Or was he glad to needle Anne? Revenge at finding her door locked last night? She’s heard his pillow thumping last night.
“Pale colors are the height of fashion,” Anne said defensively. “I’m sure we can find something else in that sea chest. Something better suited to make him look more . . . or perhaps less of—” her hand flapped inelegantly “—of this . . .”
“Of what?” Aunt Maude pursed her lips.
Aunt Flora waited, and Will was the devil’s own, his smirk increasing.
She was in a verbal pit, and shoveling herself in deeper. “Lighter colors would be safer.” She hesitated. “Black and gold simply is . . .”
“Is what?” Will goaded.
She was on a knife’s edge, her thumbnail digging an indent into her quill. Irritation flared. Other indescribable emotions surged.
“You look dangerous.”
There. She’d said it.
Will’s predatory smile spread. “Black and gold it is.”